Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Media Criticism #2

Followers of this blog may remember that I criticized the Boston Globe story on Michael Gill some weeks ago. My major critique then was that facts were very hard to find. I read the two horse racing stories in the May 1, 2010 Globe, and have a different and more troubling concern. Instead of errors of omission, there are significant errors of commission.

In the story captioned "Rain Could Rule..." The Globe in graph 14 says that the last horse to win the Kentucky Derby from an outside post was Ferdinand in 1986. It goes on to say that the last horse to win from the #20 position was War Admiral in 1937. This is wrong on both counts. The last horse to win from #20, which in that case was the outside post, was Big Brown. This happened only two years ago.

In the piece captioned "Derby Notebook", The Globe makes another mistake that could have been avoided. The rival to Rachel Alexandra in graph 2 was Zardana, not "Zardania." I was about to give this a pass as a typo until I got to graph 3, where the mistake is repeated.

I wrote to Joe Sullivan, the Globe Sports Editor, on the day the stories appeared. I have not gotten any response, but in fairness, they did get the facts straight in a story the next day.